Jacob Dlamini dissects history of the Kruger National Park in 'Safari Nation'
In an extract from 'Safari Nation', his social history of the Kruger National Park, Jacob Dlamini writes about the politics and prejudices at play in setting up and policing the game reserve
On November 25 1927, about 40 Mozambicans attacked five park rangers, killing one, Stephanus Mtebuge, and seriously injuring another, Cement Mathlabi. The attack led the Union of South Africa’s National Parks Board, with the approval of the defence department, to issue firearms to all African rangers.
The decision marked the formal reversal of a policy that had been in place since James Stevenson-Hamilton assumed control of the park in 1902. I say “formal”, because even though Stevenson-Hamilton had long refused to arm African rangers with guns, white park rangers had enjoyed the discretion of deciding whether to give African rangers guns...